Millennium Post

FMC given more teeth to push NSEL to settle Rs 5,600-crore dues

The government on Wednesday said that it has issued a notification giving more teeth to the regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) to ensure that the NSEL ensures settlement of Rs 5,600 crore in dues to investors.

NSEL is facing the problem of settlement after it suspended trade in one-day forward contracts on 31 July following the government direction. On Tuesday, it stopped trading in e-series contracts in gold in anticipation of the notification to this effect.

'We have given more powers to FMC to handle the NSEL settlement issue. The situation is under control,' Food and Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas told reporters on the sidelines of a FICCI event.

A notification has been issued on 6 August giving wide ranging set of powers to the FMC to ensure settlement of dues at NSEL, said Consumer Affairs secretary Pankaj Agrawala who was also present at the event.

'Settlement of all one-day forward contract at NSEL shall be done under the supervison of FMC and any order or direction issued by FMC in this regard shall be binding on the NSEL,' the notification said.

Under the notification, the government has also barred the NSEL from offering any contracts including e-series for trading at its platform, Agarwala said.

The e-series products are banned as they are forward contracts. 'Right now, we want NSEL to concentrate on settlement. We do not want to complicate the issue,' he said.

E-series contracts are a unique market segment, which function like the cash segment in equities and offer commodities in demat form in smaller denominations. They contributed about 40 per cent of NSEL's Rs 18,315 crore turnover in June.
Stating that the government is keeping a close watch on NSEL, Agarwala said it will now wait for the notification to take effect and see how the settlement takes place under the supervision of FMC. Asked if small investors would be given priority during settlement, he said that the ministry is waiting for inputs from the FMC on this issue.

The exchange, which is promoted by Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL), plans to submit its settlement plan to the FMC by 14 August. At present, FMC does not regulate spot exchanges. Amid the crisis of NSEL, the government is seriously working on new regulations for spot exchanges.
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